I received this great letter from good friend Terry Herndon:
Some of you know me and some may not. My name is Terry Herndon and I have been an Arizona native since I was born at St Josephs Hospital in 1958. Some of you have me beat on years in Arizona and some of you do not—that really doesn’t matter but I thought you should know that I am a native to show you that I have a say in the matter of HB2072 which I oppose.
I own The Arizona Hunter website and we sponsor at least two Youth Deer Camps a year. It has been a pleasure to work with the Arizona Game and Fish department while doing so. We are not a 501 (3) c group so we generate our own money and we get several donations from good people who give us their time or food and drink for these camps. These camps have been a total success and the recruitment and retention from these camps are very high. I have never seen any money from the AZSFW nor have I seen the AZSFW host any camps so I do not see where the money generated from 350 tags that belong to the public can help that cause. The only way to improve recruitment and retention is to put your time where your mouth is and get out and make s difference.
Several other groups host camps each year and each year the camps grow larger and larger in numbers of kids and new hunters. You can check these numbers if you wish but I am sure you will agree this is true. The Arizona Elk Society host Wapiti Weekend and they sale out of tickets in 24 hours each year! That is 150 kids I believe that get to go to kids for this weekend and learn about all kinds of outdoor activities and many kids do not because we do not have a large enough arena and we do not have near enough volunteers—money will not help you with volunteers!
The reason I bring this issue up is because HB2072 promises that it will generate money to help with recruitment and retention which is absolutely absurd. How can money generate volunteers? It can’t. I wish I had the time to host more camps but even if I did I couldn’t get enough volunteers to help with those camps and no matter how much money I have or don’t have volunteers are just that and we only have so many of them to go around.
HB2072 states that they will use “millions” of dollars to help with the drought but we all know Mama Nature doesn’t take payments and until this drought is gone there is not enough money in the world to make it rain and snow so this can not be a true statement.
HB2072 states it will help with the predator problems but we all know with out grass to hide in fawns and calves have very little chance of survival and even though they have no scent for a short period of time they are easily seen and that is when the predators feast. This brings us right back to the drought and we know we can not do much about the drought now can we?
HB2072 states that it will use “millions” of dollars to help with access issues but don’t we already pay for access on some ranches? And don’t they shut the gates when the money stops? So tell me how much money are we willing to spend for access and how would the HB2072 and the AZSFW help with this issue? Once again this will not happen but probably what will happen is that these ranchers who will not let us have access to our land will surely join in mass and ask for land owner tags—and this is not the road any of us want to go down.
HB2072 states it will use “millions” of dollars to help with conservation project through out our state but we have the HPC and the money is there along with matching fund from the government to get these projects done but with out volunteers it makes no difference how much money is there because it can not be done without the hands on from our sportsman and woman of this state—the same sportsman and woman who oppose this bill!
My biggest concern from HB2072 is that there is no way of knowing how much money will be generated from these publicly owned tags. There will be no way of knowing how much of the money generated by these publicly owned tags to line the pockets of lobbyists and we really do not know if the lobbyist has the best interest of all of who are regular sportsman and woman like you and I.
One last thing I would like to state—the numbers in which we see on the ASU economic study are all guess work—there is no hard fact that there will be this much money generated and that, in my opinion, is just too much of a gamble for me.
We need all the help we can get to stop this bill from going any further. I can not see how any of us can trust the AZSFW after they tried to hurry this bill through with out any input from any of us including the Organizations who backed them at the time.
It is time to stop HB2072, regroup and see what can be done when we all work together.
The Arizona Hunter.com
This effort just continues to linger. please be aware that although HB2072 may be dead in its current form, AZSFW very much wants the concept to go through and you may see it added to another bill. AZSFW could do themselves a big favor by stopping, and getting with all the critter grups to find some common ground. The more they push this notion of auction tags and expos, the more it becomes clear their agenda is not aligned with the majority of sportsmen and women in Arizona.